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scala, polis, taut, axis mundi (Constellation 1.2)

kurimanzutto, Ciudad de México, México
November 5, 2015 – January 9, 2016

_08B9801 as Smart Object-1

_08B9842 as Smart Object-1

_08B9918 as Smart Object-1

Curated by Chris Sharp

Berlin-based, Mexican artist Isabel Nuño de Buen’s large-scale sculptural installation scala, polis, taut, axis mundi (Constellation 1.2) is as rich and layered as it is sprawling. The artist deploys a variety of media and materials, including drawing, sculpture, plaster, papier maché, steel, welding, watercolor and paint, to create what resemble outsized maquettes of a decidedly maniacal and lyrical nature. Understanding architecture as the formal syntax of a given civilization, Nuño de Buen draws on a variety of interests including German expressionist architecture, urban planning, cultural anthropology, religion, and sculpture. Personalized, plastic allegories of myth and meaning arise from the combination of these discrete sources. The artist’s process, which is governed by a strong internal logic and systemization, is inseparable from the intrinsically open-ended theoretical nature of her work. Composed of modular fragments which can be reconfigured at will, her installations, like any given city itself, are never finished; they remain in a state of continual, albeit hypothetical evolution (she has been known to reuse elements from former pieces in new constellations). Much like a constellation, the finished work is a whole composed of particulars that are at once distinct from, and constitutive of the whole. Provisional, mutable and rationally irrational, her installations privilege no specific point of view, presenting instead endless permutations and possibilities.

scala, polis, taut, axis mundi (Constellation 1.2) is the second of a series of six exhibitions to be curated by Chris Sharp for kurimanzutto. Taking place over the course of a year, the series will focus exclusively on emerging Mexican or Mexico-based artists. The intention of the project is to train a rigorous eye that sheds light upon some of the most active and challenging actors in the current art scene. kurimanzutto seeks to provide them with a unique platform within the local and international context, welcoming the development of a new generation of artists. Sharp’s selection will run as independent shows parallel to the gallery’s regular programming, maintaining their autonomy while productively resonating with each other.

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Text by Chris Sharp
Photo: Diego Pérez
Courtesy of kurimanzutto, Mexico City


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